Newcastle Player Ratings: Hayden and Perez standout men in Southampton draw

Crystal Palace v Southampton- Premier League

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has urged his team to "be better" after they were pegged back twice by Southampton for a 2-2 draw at St Mary's.

For Rafael Benitez's side, who stay ninth, this was an opportunity missed against a team struggling for goals and confidence but the game might have been very different had DeAndre Yedlin been handed a second yellow card for a late challenge early in the second period.

"I am very happy but I wanted to win the game", he said.

Virgil van Dijk, playing his first home game since the protracted transfer saga that nearly saw him join Liverpool, made a hash of a clearance and Atsu slammed the ensuing cross against Maya Yoshida before Hayden pounced on the rebound and drilled into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box.

In the 47th minute, they almost doubled that lead as Joselu hit the crossbar after getting on the end of an Ayoze Pérez cross.

However, Hayden's strike in the 20th minute ensured an open encounter, as the midfielder exhibited fine technique to direct the bouncing ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

However, Newcastle hit straight back as Pérez forced a save from Forster before pouncing onto the rebound and putting the ball past him - restoring the lead in the 51st minute.

Fraser Forster can do nothing as Ayoze Pérez puts the Magpies back in front at St. Mary's.

With 15 minutes left, Newcastle's Florian Lejeune needlessly fouled Shane Long and Gabbiadini drilled the spot-kick past Rob Elliot to draw the scores level for a second time and earn his side a point.

Lejeune nearly made amends for his earlier error but his 89th-minute header was cleared off the line by Southampton substitute Steven Davis.

- Southampton have only lost one of their last 24 home league matches against Newcastle (W16 D7).

He was proved correct on this occasion as Saints scored twice at home, and yet it was not enough to grab a victory against a midtable side, with both of the goals they conceded being on the soft side, and one coming just two minutes after their first equaliser.

Newcastle nearly doubled their advantage early in the second half when Perez's feathered finish dropped onto the bar before two goals arrived, one at each end, in as many minutes. He hit six goals in his first four games for the club last season.



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